How to make personal changes stick!

The concept

It can be particularly challenging to implement behavioural changes in the workplace.  In some cases you might be working against long-term ingrained habits, operating in an extremely busy work environment or just find it difficult to be motivated to make these changes.  Utilising these three levers can significantly improve your chances of successfully making any behavioural changes:

  1. Deeply know your ‘why– having a crystal clear emotional connection with the benefits that you will achieve or (even more powerfully) the losses you will avoid by making this behaviour change will make you more conscious of implementing new behaviours ‘in the moment’.
  2. Have a plan with targets – writing down the specific behaviours you want to take in particular situations with (where possible) a targeted frequency will provide a focus and sense of progress.
  3. Publicly commit to the change – telling a few people about your plan will create a heightened desire to act and a greater sense of accountability.
  4. Make the goals visible – to yourself and perhaps to others! Pin up pictures, set a daily a reminder to your task list, use a checklist or table to check weekly – to remind yourself of your intentions.

It is likely that any one of these strategies on their own will be insufficient – they will work most powerfully in combination to help you implement those changes you want to make.

Why it’s useful

These four elements, all working in unison, will provide a set of conditions that lift your consciousness and motivation to act.  Not having these elements in place makes it easier to ‘let yourself off the hook’.

How/when to apply it

When you have sought and/or received feedback (perhaps through a performance review, 360° process, a staff survey) or are undertaking some leadership or professional development there is a great opportunity to select 1 or 2 specific behaviours you want to work on.  Deliberately applying this 3-part framework and then seeking feedback from key people over time will greatly enhance the likelihood of making these behavioural changes ‘stick’.

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